Secret beach access case coming to light

| 20/10/2021 | 97 Comments
Cayman News Service
One of the beach access points that the Dart Group wants to move

(CNS): A long running legal case involving a dispute over public beach access rights on land owed by the Dart Group that has been heard behind closed doors up until now is emerging into the light after the courts ruled that the case should no longer be ex parte. Cayman Shores, which was behind the Kimpton Hotel development, has been fighting to close off at least four public access points along Seven Mile Beach that are close to the hotel and by Ken Dart’s own home near the West Bay Road tunnel.

The developer, one of a multitude of companies owned by Dart, had managed to keep the case out of the public gaze, regardless of its significance to the community. But despite the secrecy surrounding the court application by Dart, it was brought to the attention of the Concerned Citizens Group, local activists who have been long-time advocates for public beach access rights.

In 2019 they applied to the court to intervene on behalf of the people in what is clearly a public interest case. Since then they have since succeeded in being heard, but it has been a long battle to get to the point where the case is no longer being held behind closed doors.

However, on Friday the press and the public will for the first time have an opportunity to observe the case for themselves when issues relating to Dart’s challenge of a Registrar of Lands ruling denying the application to move the access points will be heard by Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale.

Originally four rights of way were in question, which are a combination of registered pedestrian and vehicular access points that were set aside at specific locations to benefit the Caymanian public many years ago. Dart has since withdrawn its application on two of these access points but it is understood that they are both still inaccessible to the public.

Despite the registrar’s denial, the local activists remain concerned that the previous government had amended relevant land and planning legislation to accommodate the interests of Dart and other developers along Seven Mile Beach. This, they say, has made it easier to change access points to benefit their projects and has opened up the opportunity for legal challenges even in cases where the access points are supposed to be set in stone.

A spokesperson for the activists said they believe this case is the “tip of the proverbial iceberg”. They believe the public must fight for access rights as they are being continually eroded through changes in regulations and, case by case, incremental waivers of the rules, resulting in the piecemeal removal of public access to the beach.

Judge Ramsay-Hale took over the cases in February 2021, when she approved the intervention by the Concerned Citizens and made the case an open one, lifting the ex parte status. The Public Lands Commission will also now be part of the court hearing in their role as official protectors of beach access rights.

This case is one of a number of ongoing legal fights regarding the increasing loss of beach access. The outcome will have implications for those cases, as well as the future of Caymanians’ rights to access the beach. The continued conflict created by the excessive beachfront development, where owners want to restrict and prohibit the people’s right to get to and use the beach, is now well documented and becoming a priority issue for many Caymanians.

With the case now public, officials have confirmed that the hearing will be held in Court Room 4 in Kirk House at 10am to accommodate the press and public, and not in Chambers as previously indicated.


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Category: development, Local News

Comments (97)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The accesses aren’t being closed they are being relocated. The public cannot physically walk through a concrete wall!!! So dart asking it to be relocated..

    Planning should not have allowed the wall in the first place. Get dart to knock the wall and tunnel down!

  2. Anonymous says:

    CNS can you please add back the LOL emoji? These comments are hilarious!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You can’t swim there anymore. You’ve got to ask the port service for permission first. Bring your VHF radio to contact them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Jackie Doak has singlehandedly damaged any credibility dart may have had given the way she has handled the Britannia matter. Th lack of respect for binding contracts and residents that purchased in the development several decades ago is shocking. It speaks volumes about their principles and personal character given the way they view residents because they are the bully with bags of money that seemingly control politicians. Shameful and does not reflect well on the company and prospects for Cayman going forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      She doesn’t care from the penthouse at Seafire. She can see all the land she wants.

    • CAKY says:

      And they had so many believing that they were such a benevolent group here to make things better for Cayman. What a joke. The naïveté of our trusting Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are these the same Caymanians that don’t seem to have an issue selling to Dart and cashing their checks?

        • Anon. says:

          No, that would be the other group of Caymanians who don’t give a damn about their island.
          Dart offers them pocket change and they grab the cash like a pack of hungry hyenas.

          I said from years ago Dart is a businessman, he will only do whatever is in his best interest, even when it appears to be generosity there is always a long term gain only for him in the works but most don’t realise it until it is too late.

          Right now he practically owns Little Cayman, half of Cayman Brac and three-quarters of Grand Cayman.

          He feels emboldened and thinks he skirt the laws and do whatever he pleases because he has “done so much” for the islands.

          Too late to reel him in, should have gotten rid of him a long time ago.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Also many strata transparency cases before the courts…lets see if they courts are willing to oppose the big developers and support ownership rights to their own data.

    • Miami Dave says:

      Dart’s technique is to wage wars of legal attrition against stratas in the Seven Mile Beach Corridor. Certainly not winning friends with stratas after Britannia.

      They have a very serious PR problem and seem incapable of winning friends. They repeat the same mistakes over and over.

      Comes down to poor management at the senior levels.

      • Anonymous says:

        Looks like they have had lots of quality people leave recently. I know several people still there who all say the same thing – its a toxic workplace and just getting worse. They just don’t care about their staff nor Cayman

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just keep watching and you will see! When Dart finishes the indigo hotel and completes whatever they do at the kimpton hotel public beach won’t be very public. The writing is paved on the sand.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Man that screws countries over, screws over another country. Yawn!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Not sure what everyone is whinging about. He owns the i$land so can do whatever he wants, wherever and whenever.

    I mean, its not as if a faceless man who wrecked entire countries and created one of the biggest global pollutants would do anything untoward is it?

    Nothing this entity has done is philanthropic. Its all part of the ma$terplan.

    Look at the state of the old Hyatt, look at the state of Calicos, Royal Palms. Look at that tunnel! This is your future Cayman. You’ve let this happen and now realise its too late to do anything about it. Your politician$ won’t so suck it up.

    • Hubert says:

      The state of the old Hyatt is a national disgrace which thousands of us see each day stuck in traffic.

      Dart should be prosecuted for their inaction in not demolishing the site. There is absolutely no excuse after all this time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Given it’s on a main road and very visible, you would think someone would have the minerals to do something about it. It looks like it belongs in Haiti.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and what a disgrace the various governments have been since ivan – what have they done about the glass house or the old tower building site. So govt cannot criticise dart!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The evidence of DART being an oppressor and bad civil actor is everywhere, and all the time. $200 worth of soccer jerseys doesn’t offset any of this. CIG needs to grab them by the scruff of the collar and tell them what time it is. There should be an inquest into why this case was made ex parte, and those actors should be removed and barred from their public roles.

    • Anonymous says:

      8:36 am Ya right, like any other developer has ever been grabbed by the scruff of their necks. Why single out Dart? He’s Caymanian and currently his companies are the largest contributors to this country’s economy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Concerned Citizens and Ramsay-Hale are bloody heroes.
    The resistance needs to be better organised, we can’t just leave the struggle to a few.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When is the last time you actually went to the beach?

    • anonymous says:

      Tried last week on North Church street. It was blocked by the fishmongers and stunk like hell. they should be kicked out. This beach is for all of us.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s DART, but not just DART. Other SMB condo properties have illegally drilled-in and bolted plastic bollards to discourage lawful street-side public parking and adjacent beach access. All of this nuisance needs to blow back with action and big fines for non-compliance.

      • anonymous says:

        The fishmongers are above the law.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ 10.10 Wait a minute. Are you really trying to say that patch of ‘sand’ at the fish market is your preferred beach? Do me a favour mate. It’s a grotty blot on the landscape and is ONLY fit for the fish market.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are obviously an expat who has no idea of the history of Rrd Spot Bay. Had you been around two years ago you would have seen cruise ship tourists swimming there.
          I am not your mate. Please choose some one else and go back to the UK.

          • anonymous says:

            Only because the couldn’t find their way on to the concealed mystical Seven Mile Beach

  12. Anonymous says:

    Roy, bad tipper in my restaurant, didn’t get voted in. Wayne, good tipper where I work, got voted in. Alden was also a good tipper. That’s called karma Roy. Don’t be so cheap

  13. Anonymous says:

    Dart not the only one using his money to use power on this Island

  14. MARCH FOR FREEDOM...FOR ALL - CAYMANIANS (unique idea) AND WORK PERMIT HOLDERS. says:

    LETS MARCH FOR CAYMANIANS. (Unique idea, but let’s try it). Freedom of access to our Beaches!

  15. Anonymous says:

    When in doubt or you can’t figure it out, remember the O’Jays classic and sing along friends.

    “Money money money money, money [Repeat: x 6]
    Some people got to have it
    Some people really need it
    Listen to me why’all, do things, do things, do bad things with it
    You want to do things, do things, do things, good things with it
    Talk about cash money, money
    Talk about cash money- dollar bills, why’all
    For the love of money
    People will steal from their mother
    For the love of money
    People will rob their own brother
    For the love of money
    People can’t even walk the street
    Because they never know who in the world they’re gonna beat
    For that lean, mean, mean green
    Almighty dollar, money
    For the love of money
    People will lie, Lord, they will cheat
    For the love of money
    People don’t care who they hurt or beat
    For the love of money
    A woman will sell her precious body
    For a small piece of paper it carries a lot of weight
    Call it lean, mean, mean green
    Almighty dollar
    I know money is the root of all evil
    Do funny things to some people
    Give me a nickel, brother can you spare a dime
    Money can drive some people out of their minds
    Got to have it, I really need it
    How many things have I heard you say
    Some people really need it
    How many things have I heard you say
    Got to have it, I really need it
    How many things have I heard you say
    Lay down, lay down, a woman will lay down
    For the love of money
    All for the love of money
    Don’t let, don’t let, don’t let money rule you
    For the love of money
    Money can change people sometimes
    Don’t let, don’t let, don’t let money fool you
    Money can fool people sometimes
    People! Don’t let money, don’t let money change you,
    It will keep on changing, changing up your mind.”

    • A says:

      The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Money in good people’s hands can positively change the world.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Vulture capitalist!

    • Truth says:

      Jealous much? Did you forget what Cayman is famous for and how it got rich? Do you even know how your government is still making money by selling and doing nothing? For now.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is his right to ask.
      What is appalling is that Caymanians grant the requests too frequently.
      Cayman needs to stand up a deny such requests.

  17. Anonymous says:

    And they are effectively represented on the CPA by Christine Maltman ! Very dangerous .

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously someone who doesn’t know her. She worked longer for Planning and Government than for Dart and has always had exceptional knowledge of the planning laws. She hasn’t worked for Dart for a few years. A welcome and professional addition to the Board.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ex parte does not mean non-public. It means on behalf of one party. Dart’s case started out exparte because it did not name any other parties. In camera is the usual term for non-public hearings.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, Dart seems to have had the support of most of our so-called leaders for years. Dart lives in a world where money talks and he has enough to do whatever he wants as long as the people in charge “agree” with him.
      It remains to be seen whether the new PACT government can br bought or not.

    • Anonymous says:

      5:30 thanks for that clarification. Makes perfect sense, unlike most comments on this story.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ex party is “one-sided” & it is “secret”. If no one knows of the case (filed by the plaintiff), no person or party can render a defense/rebuttal.
      Ex parte cases are designated special courts, often used when a partied is government surveiled, believed to be in danger, harmed, or may abscond from justice.
      The abuse of such a “secret” court by plaintiffs who use this practice is to avoid retribution from incensed parties once the they may learn of the case & its legal context for which they were omitted. This happens in family court alot in the U.S. and judges often dismissed the request because once the judge realized it has no substance of factual basis, and objective is to deceive the judge, in attempt to lie and/or hide the truth. DART knows public beach access disputes is a Government/”For the People-Citizens matter” and, therefore, should not be secreted. This was indeed a dirty judicial play by DART’s Attorneys. Judge Ramsay made a great call when she over-turned the exparte, and made it a public litigation.👏 Thank You, Judge Ramsay.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible for Dart and his XXXX employees and shareholders, to be extradited to the UK to face some punishment?

    They often live by XXXX expensive lawsuits to always get their way and silence any adversaries that dare challenge them.

    However, they also often cry wolf when they lose public opinion or anything that weakens their aspirations on dictatorship by oligarchy in Cayman.

    They often run to government officials and politicians and use strongholds in the economy like tourism (CITA) and real estate (CIREBA) to bully the government into submission until they cry uncle and give in.

    Sadly MP Bryan appears to be a casualty after approaching local tourism hiring. The Progressives party is being used like styrofoam cups but haven’t realised yet, unfortunately.

    If copious amounts of money are being made here, why is it such a hard concept that everyone should share in the touted prosperity?

    Can someone just get on with it?!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’m truly astonished that a company ran by a secretive ‘billionaire’ that made his money from vulture funds (assisting the decimation of countries) and plastic, the same man who was ran out of Belize and probably also Andros (Bahamas)…the same one that claims air rights above lands and has kept the second biggest eyesore (after the Dump) sitting there since Ivan (Britannia) and on, and on…i can’t believe that guy and his trusted top lieutenants have been trying to keep beach access fights to themselves?

    Shocked. Shocked i tell ya.

    • Anonymous says:

      RUN

    • Anonymous says:

      You only need to follow the purchases of land and politicians to see how Dart has taken control of the Cayman Islands. It’s sickening! It’s time for a change!

    • Anonymous says:

      mega carbon footprint, fuel and pollution of flyin by private helicopter to a small preserved island to go for a flippin bike ride- no it ain’t cool nor philanthropic.

  21. Beachcomber says:

    We will soon have sky high hotels and condos from one end of the beach to the other thanks to certain politicians opening the floodgates. When this occurs beach access will be moot for the public as there will be nowhere on the beach to sit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Muckeeva, KT, Joey Who, Moses and Alldone showed us they work in the best interests of developers like Dart, Imperato, Wellon, Bronte, Thompson, Crighton, Ryan and all that are willing to pay the CGT

    • Anonymous says:

      Miami Beach come soon

      • Anonymous says:

        Yea Miami Beach actually has a beach So Miami Beach With almost NO beach That will be a great seller Cant wait
        Thank god I know about the good old days.

  22. Anonymous says:

    This the same Dart who sent out a press release saying their Planned Development wasn’t going to close off public access to the beach?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Dart has been the worst thing ever to be inflicted upon Cayman.
    If he was such a top chappie, he would not have been so secretive.
    Doesn’t the Bible say that by their fruits you will know them?
    The fruit of Dart being in Cayman has been turmoil, top to bottom. I can’t wait until he leaves, but the question is, who will have him?
    Michigan, I guess. Mr. Dart, please go home.

    • Anonymous says:

      3:19 there you go, blindly believing everything you read. If you’re that interested turn up on Friday and hear the facts first hand

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman welcomed him.
        Cayman welcomed his $$$.
        Cayman welcomed the jobs he brought.
        Cayman welcomed the imports he supplied.

        Cayman – Look inside for the faults of our own doing!

        Cayman, don’t like the results?
        Change your ways!
        Stop blaming others for our own (our own – I am Caymanian) faults.

        We reap what we sow………………….. It’s our own fault!

        • Anonymous says:

          Only by proxy really 6:14, – through their elected representatives

        • Anonymous says:

          Cayman’s trouble can be seen in the actions of their politicians. When money means more to the politicians than anything else, it ain”t gonna be good for the people.

        • Anonymous says:

          I disagree. I didn’t let this cancer come to the Caymans after not paying his taxes in the U.S. and not paying duty on imports in Venezuela. Belize didn’t want him there, either. This man is bad news.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignorance is the worst thing. Dart is fine. Ignorance please don’t speak or move to Michigan if they’ll have you.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Enough! For God’s sake DART. We welcomed you. Seriously! What the Actual F?

    • Anonymous says:

      Haters gonna hate. Everyone and everything. Get used to hearing it here. It’s like a pandemic.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      No “we” didn’t. Big Mac welcomed him and facilitated his spread. I have nothing against Dart, however I think there should be a limit on the percentage of total property that a single entity can possess in the Cayman Islands.

      Agree with your sentiment. Dart is here, and apparent king of the place.

      He should be doing more for the people.
      FOR GOD’S SAKE, HE’S BUILT CAMANA BAY AND THE BEACH LANDS AND SEVERAL ROADS, WHAT DO YOU WANT?
      I want more social services and construction projects that aren’t monuments. Bike paths, for example. He has enough. More than enough.
      YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS OF HIS WEALTH!
      I wouldn’t trade his life for mine. I wouldn’t welcome his problems. I think he is an intelligent person, who is searching for a way to measure his worth. Become part of the people you affect, Sir. Let us see you. Walk among us, if you can stand it. Your wealth could do so much good here. Is this your last stopping place?
      HE’S GOING TO FIX THE DUMP! ISN’T THAT ENOUGH??
      Depends. Depends upon what we, the people have to pony up to complete the project. Remember that the apparent goal is to transform the lands adjacent to the dump into prime properties. Out of sight isn’t good enough. We want true mitigation.
      YOU’RE JUST A LITTLE PERSON WITH NO SELF-WORTH. MR. DART IS A GODSEND.
      You may be right. I believe in Karma. I hope Mr. Dart does also.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Wow! I am thankful for our local activists standing up, not only for their own rights but also for the rights of the rest of us! I hope they win this case!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Dart needs to be reigned in. Totally absurd. Beach access and Britannia golf course and those owners rights. Where will it stop?

  27. Anonymous says:

    just in case anyone thinks Dart is a good neighbor. Enough is enough – can he not just leave already.

  28. Anonymous says:

    A person in Mr Dart’s position does need the extra privacy and security so he should be allowed to keep the public from his beach. As for the hotels, when we have the high dollar tourists staying at their, they also need to have absolute privacy and security. This should just be taken by goverment and just made law because look at how much money Mr. Dart has invested in our island. Shame o you CNS for publishing this story.

    CNS: I’m assuming this comment is tongue in cheek.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately….methinks you assume too much CNS.

      This “tugging of the forelock”/”doffing of the cap” pervades the small minds of many on these islands…

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope it is tongue in cheek. If not this person has severe problems

    • Anonymous says:

      If Dart needs more privacy then he should relocate to a more private spot.

  29. Right ya so says:

    Thank you Concerned Citizens Group and Judgey! #caymanrascal #

  30. Anonymous says:

    The evil dart empire at it again.

  31. anon says:

    soon there will not be any beach to access so not a worry.

  32. Beach Cleaner says:

    I am all for allowing public beach access however people must be respectful and clean up after themselves. As many do not do this, who exactly is responsible for cleaning up all of the shocking amounts of litter left behind?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, that would require the police to actually enforce some laws, including as to litter and the Towns and Communities Act. If laws were actually enforced, the problem you describe would not exist.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:43 pm EXACTLY ! Have a look at Seven Mile Public Beach….overflowing garbage bins, litter on the playground….glass at that. So public access gets you to the beach but doesn’t mean the public respects the beach. Shameful !

    • A bit concerned says:

      I just want to say something here in response to this comment and the other responses to this comment. When there is literally only a handful of beaches actually left for locals and everyone else who does not own a condo on SMB, what you will get is overcrowding and overfilled garbage bins when everyone is forced to go to those last remaining beaches. I have also seen plenty of litter on condo beaches and in our waters. Litter is a human problem (heavily contributed to by Mr Dart and his never ending supply of non-recyclables) and with humans come mess and litter and pollution. It is everyone’s fault and no one categories fault. That should not take away from the fact that beach accesses needs to be maintained and the “chasing away” of people from the beaches needs to stop.

      • Anonymous says:

        6:37 are you for real ? Your entire rant went completely down the drain when you blamed Dart for the litter….I suppose you think speeding is the fault of car manufacturers and drunk driving the fault of booze companies. Ridiculous

      • Anonymous says:

        I tried to go swimming at where the fish market is. You cannot get to the beach due to the fish mongers and it stinks of fish. Caymanians used to swim there all the time. Bryan you need do something about this. It is not right to block access to the beach.

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